Thank You and Farewell to ABO’s Departing Interim Executive Director, Diana Moser

Over the past year, Diana Moser has been serving as ArtsBuild Ontario’s (ABO) Interim Executive Director. During her time with ABO, Diana fully embraced this challenge of leading an organization through the uncertainties of COVID-19 and its impact on the arts and culture sector. Regardless of ups and downs, ABO continued to support creative spaces throughout the pandemic with projects such as the Indigenous Creative Spaces ProjectLEARN IT | BUILD IT | MANAGE IT, and the Mapping Northern Creative Spaces Project as well as our core programs such as the Mentoring Network and Asset Planner for the Arts.

In addition, ABO continues its partnership with the City of Kitchener and the Accelerator Centre in operating 44 Gaukel Creative Workspace in Downtown Kitchener. The building has remained open to tenants throughout the pandemic.

Aside from maintaining projects and programs, Ms. Moser brought ABO into the third cohort of Pluralism and Organizational Change, facilitated Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario (CPAMO).  

Diana had the right skillset at the right time – managing unforeseen and unpredictable change. It was a pleasure working with her as she rose to the challenges the year presented. We were so lucky to have her and know that she will be a major asset to the organization that is lucky enough to hire her. Good luck, Diana!  –Kristian Clarke, President, ArtsBuild Ontario 

 Ms. Moser approached this year with a high level of organization and innovation. Wherever her next adventure takes her, any team will greatly benefit from her novel ideas and kind, thoughtful approach to leadership.

 ABO welcomes back our Executive Director, Alex Glass, after 14 months of maternity leave.

CSMN 2020-21 Ends, & A New Iteration Begins


As one iteration for the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network closes, another one opens! We are grateful for everyone who took part in the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network 2020-2021 program, and we are pleased to officially welcome everyone participating in the CSMN 2021-2022 program. The 2021-2022 iteration kicked off on June 9 in preparation for the official start date of June 30 and we could not be more excited to hear about the developments of your creative space projects.


As a farewell to our 2020-2021 iteration of the program, a number of previous mentees would like to offer some final words as the program comes to a close:

“The mentoring process exposed me to new ideas and revelatory ways of thinking and problem solving. Just by listening to the perspectives and experiences of my mentor, Stephen Remus, we were developing innovative solutions for our creative spaces. The mentoring program by ArtsBuild Ontario supports and empowers arts administrators by developing their skills, confidence and networks.”

-Janet Jarrell, Executive Director of Quinte Arts Council


“We’re creating a neighbourhood support network that’s going to bring the arts and the other sectors right up into the forefront! We are as curious as anyone as to what this hub is eventually going to look like. My mentor, Olinda Casimiro, comes with a strong economic background and she has a really good sense of big picture dynamics. We’re just so grateful for her walking this journey with us, and yes, COVID has slowed us down, but I’m really happy with the DNA that we have found for what this eventually will become! Olinda has been very helpful strategically with us in that.”

-Hardy Steinke, Executive Director of Heart Comonos


“With the help of Heather Kelly, founder of HKC Marketing, I was able to move forward with my Flick the Switch Artists’ Collective Art Marketing Project. The Shopify website learning curve was overwhelming and there are so many other decisions to make.  Working alone is very difficult, but Heather helped me write a better plan, kept me on track, put things in perspective, and gave a lot of really good ideas! It’s been such a relief to have someone so bright and wise and full of ideas with whom to discuss strategies.”

-Susan N. Stewart, Founder of Flick the Switch Artists’ Collective


If you would like to learn more about the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network 2021-2022 iteration, please visit our webpage.

Taking PRIDE in Creative Spaces

June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month, which celebrates the 2SLGBTQIA+ * community. Pride also reminds us all to reflect on the continued fight against discrimination and hate. The origin of Pride stems from the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. Beginning with a raid on June 28th, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, over the course of a week thousands gathered at the Stonewall Inn. Protests against the New York City police department by 2SLGBTQIA+ groups lasted for a six day period. Although protests had occurred before, this uprising marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the perception of sexual orientation and gender identity on a broad scale. Many countries now host Pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia, concerts and other events to reflect on the contributions, achievements, and struggles of 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

ArtsBuild Ontario encourages people to learn about and support 2SLGBTQIA+ spaces and organizations. While we highlight three Toronto-based groups here, we recognize that there are many others across the province and Canada. ArtsBuild Ontario does not discriminate and does not tolerate discrimination, against anyone based on their sexual preference, or gender identity, or mental and/or physical ability, and we strive to represent this commitment in our actions. Support for our 2SLGBTQIA+  colleagues, friends, and family doesn’t end when June does.


ArQuives, 2020

Located in Toronto, the ArQuives is the largest independent 2SLGBTQIA+ archive in the world. This archive documents history in a variety of different ways; textual records, audio visual records, posters, photographs, artifacts and artworks. The ArQuives welcomes contributions on an ongoing basis. This is a safe space for building a lasting repository where members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ can feel accepted, valued, and celebrated.

Donate here. 

Buddies in Bad Times

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Buddies in Bad Times is “Toronto’s leading destination for artistically rigorous alternative theatre and a world leader in developing queer voices and stories for the stage”. As the largest and longest-running queer theatre in the world, Buddies supports year-round programming that includes a full season of queer theatre, new works festivals, artist residencies, and intergenerational training and education initiatives. For over 40 years this renowned theatre has welcomed well over one million visitors and premiered over 1,000 works of unique content. 

Donate here. 

Artists Mentoring Youth ( The AMY Project)

This is a Toronto-based organization that is committed providing accessible, affirming performing arts training & creation programs for women and non-binary youth from equity-seeking communities. The AMY Project strives to break down barriers which cause youth to be unable to pursue their artistic passions. Whether social, economic, racial, etc, The AMY Project fights these systemic inequities to foster a safe and creative space. As part of their mandate, they offer “free performing arts training programs serving young women and non-binary youth. AMY breaks down barriers to participation by providing meals and transportation; accessible, queer and trans inclusive and anti-racist environments; one-on-one mentorship”. 

Donate here. 

*We recognize that this acronym does not encompass all sexualities, gender identities and expressions. ArtsBuild Ontario recognizes that there is a wide spectrum and our intention is to be as inclusive as we can.  For more information on terminology, click here.

Winter Internship through Humber College with ArtsBuild

During the Winter semester of 2021, ArtsBuild was fortunate enough to have a Program Assistant intern.

Warren Bain, a student of the Arts Administration & Cultural Management Program at Humber College, spent four months evaluating ArtsBuild’s programs and overall structures.

We recently caught up with Warren and here is what he had to say about his time with ArtsBuild.

Photo Credit: Mark Binks Photography

“As part of my learning with the Arts Administration & Cultural Management Program at Humber College I completed a winter internship with ArtsBuild Ontario. The entire placement occurred remotely online and I had an enjoyable experience. As a Program Assistant I worked closely with Interim Executive Director Diana Moser and Program Manager Amy Poole.

I was brought in to do an evaluation of much of ABO’s materials in what I came to call “An Outside Perspective on the Current Workings of ArtsBuild Ontario”. Diana helped steer me through close to 10 years of material and I was happily given agency to ask for whatever I needed and encouraged to investigate whatever I was curious about. The full report came to 40 pages in length and as ABO looks ahead to a new Strategic Plan, I am hopeful that my report will be of value and use.

The internship was a stimulating and informative learning experience for me. I was tasked with completing many different administrative jobs including reporting, data entry, research, and analysis. I participated and engaged in written and spoken communication through weekly staff meetings, emails (I got my own fancy ABO email to use), reporting, and representing ABO during third party engagements (webinar’s, a CPAMO meeting, and a Scarborough arts meeting). The evaluation was my first solo undertaking of such a large-scale administrative project, and stress management was key to the success of my writing. This was a challenge I had not fully appreciated, and I am happy to have experienced it in an internship especially considering the breadth of health management many people have had to navigate while working from home.

My experience with ABO led me to learn of many arts organizations in Ontario. Arts work can often be lonely work but my time with ABO showed me how connected we all are. I look forward to hearing more from great companies and ABO in the future – though not through a screen but rather in real life!”

Thank you Warren for your hard work throughout the semester!

ArtsBuild Ontario’s New Resource Library Launched

ArtsBuild Ontario is happy to launch the newly revamped Resource Library! The Resource Library includes external resources on Building, Managing, Financing, and Greening your creative spaces. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive collection of external resources to support the development and sustainability of non-profit, arts, heritage, community, and faith-based organizations’ spaces and projects. ArtsBuild Ontario is happy to offer this resource, and we look forward to growing it even more over time!

Click here to visit the Resource Library!